A Toronto-based startup is aiming to create the anti-Uber app for taxi fleets across Canada – and it’s looking to topple other big names on behalf of local businesses in other industries, too.
First launched in 2013, Gata Labs Inc. has been building Gata Hub, a platform that will serve small, local businesses by creating high-quality mobile apps for them. While the 12-person company wants to eventually expand to businesses like coffee shops and pizza joints, right now its chief customers are within the taxi industry, working with about 25 taxi fleets across the country.
For these taxi fleets, Gata Hub provides a mobile dispatching system on the backend, helping drivers get matched with rides. The system also shares information like GPS tracking, ride updates, ride failure rates, and a breakdown of the revenue that drivers bring in.
Gata Labs has also built an iOS app for consumers, helping them hail a taxi based on their location. Currently in beta, the app also works across all of the fleets that have partnered with Gata Labs, so when consumers travel to other cities, they don’t have to download other apps besides Gata Hub to hail a taxi.
Does this sound familiar? It should. The overall experience is basically what Uber is offering – but this is for taxi fleets who want to stave off the onslaught of Uber and protect their market share. So for Gata Labs, deciding to start with the taxi industry was a calculated move, as taxi service providers are now more open to embracing new technology, says Edward Yao, Gata Labs’ co-founder and CEO.
Meanwhile in Monaco:
Is this UBER Again?
Private hire vehicles – Traffic chaos brought things to a standstill coming in to Monaco as the private hire vehicle companies of the French riviera held a simultaneous go-slow protest along the basse and moyenne corniches coming in to the Principality. They were protesting the introduction of a €1800 badge to allow them in to Monaco this summer. It took an hour to get in from the A8 motorway.
But the pathway to killing UBER is not a “bed of roses”
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20,2014 — /PRNewswire/ — Expensify has announced a partnership with Uber to debut SmartRides, a savvy new addition to Expensify Trips that reinvents the way people travel. Expensify Trips currently tracks a user’s hotel reservations and provides flight status updates for travel itineraries. With SmartRides, Expensify takes travel convenience to the next level: upon landing, an Uber can be automatically ordered to take the traveler straight to their destination, completing the “last mile” of a long journey in style.
Using SmartRides is easy: once the plane lands, users are prompted by the Expensify app to select their desired Uber service so that a driver will be waiting as soon as they reach the curb. SmartRides lets users skip the taxi line after a long flight, avoid the stress of finding a hotel in a new city, and move quickly from airport runway to hotel lobby with one simple tap.
“This is without question the most significant API launch in years, and it will be a decade before the dust has truly settled,” says Expensify CEO, David Barrett. “Uber’s vision is about obviating the need for personal car ownership; that may be be hard to imagine for many people, but SmartRides is an incredibly tangible and significant step in that direction.”
SmartRides is the first phase of a deeper integration between Expensify and Uber. In the coming weeks, Expensify will fully integrate with Uber For Business, which will allow customers to centrally bill and manage an employee’s Uber trips to increase transparency in company spending. Although it has always been simple to get Uber receipts into Expensify, this will further improve the process and make the already simple one-step process fully automated.
This is the next step in Expensify’s much anticipated progression towards ambient computing – the next evolution of cloud computing. Barrett believes the shift towards a Google Now-like experience is an extremely powerful one, and given the deep insight Expensify has, this partnership has the potential to greatly improve the traveling experience for people everywhere.
Founded by CEO David Barrett in 2008 with a dream of ridding the world of expense report frustration, Expensify does “expense reports that don’t suck!” With Expensify, create and submit your entire expense report from your smartphone or on the web to quickly get reimbursed directly to your bank account. Seamless integrations with all major accounting packages, rich mobile apps to log expenses on the go, and integrated direct deposit make Expensify the clear choice for business expense reporting and travel. Expensify is used by over 300,000 companies and 2 million users, reimbursing millions of dollars a day and processing billions each year.
About Uber Technologies
Uber is a technology platform that is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers.From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 170 cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.